No More Hustleporn: How a Conversation Should Be

Tweet by Andrew Wilkinson

Co-founder of Tiny w/ @_Sparling_. We own @Dribbble, @AeroPress, @WeCommerce_co, and 35+ other wonderful companies. Funding science and journalism on the side.

Most people are garbage at conversation.

People don’t realize that it’s not what you SAY that makes others like you.

It’s about how you make the other person FEEL when they’re with you.

What you give THEM space to say...

The question you asked that nobody else has ever asked them.

The interest you showed in what they shared.

What they feel in their gut when you smile and nod. That you genuinely care and like and understand them.

That they feel seen.

Most people view conversations as one way.

They focus on sounding smart and saying interesting things.

What they should be focused on is asking interesting and unique questions.

Figuring out what someone is passionate about and getting them talking about it.

Your job in a conversation is to be an expert interviewer.

And you’ve got the makings of a beautiful friendship when you naturally interview one another, rallying back and forth, instead of waiting for the mic to get passed so you can show off how smart you are.

I'd say at least half of the conversations I have are one-way.

People grab the mic and deliver a monologue.

They focus on saying smart things.

They talk 80% of the time.

And I've noticed that some of the world's most successful people naturally do the opposite.

They don't over-talk. They ask questions. They show interest.

They make the other person feel special. Try it next time:

Focus on asking questions of the other person, you'll be surprised what happens.

1. The goal is to talk less than 40% of the time.

2. Ask a series of questions until you find something they light up about (could be their kids, a hobby, a work project).

3. Let them talk about it. Show genuine interest.

4. If you have stories relating to the topic, chime in with anecdotes.

5. If they ask you a question, answer, but pass the mic back with a follow-up question with 3-5 minutes.

I can't believe I had to write this tweet, but it keeps slapping me in the face.

We'd all be so much happier if we behaved like curious journalists instead of delivering monologues.